Unique Unique Design

Genuine joy and laughter. Sincere interest and encouragement. Every now and again your path crosses with wonderfully kind people who even though you've just met, you feel you've known them for years. You get excited every time you see them because you know they are sure to brighten your day.

The lovely ladies at Unique Unique Design are some of the most precious we've met thus far. They have a passion for design and creativity only surpassed by their passion for people. Their story is one we are extra thrilled to bring you today. Enjoy hearing how Marcie's journey began, how she overcame challenges and more. 

Heirloom: What are your morning routines? How do you like to start each new day? 

Marcie: I’m afraid my routine is not very inspiring. When I have coffee it’s instant decaf…sorry all you coffee connoisseurs out there! I try to walk a mile or two every morning around my house. I’m a wimp when it comes to Texas HEAT! Prayer for the day and family and friends with thanks for all I’ve been blessed with, cereal or toast, emails and social media and most exciting of all vacuuming or sweeping my daughter’s dog’s hair from his daily visits over here.

Heirloom: Tell us about your journey. How did Unique Unique come into being? 

Marcie: I’m in a business with mostly younger people, but I didn’t really get into this in earnest until after my kids were grown. I met a gal at First Monday that knew I was thinking about getting a booth there. She asked me, without ever seeing anything I’d done, to split her booth with her and style it! Mayron became a dear friend and it led to 15 years doing business together. We did First Monday and different shows around Dallas, we were involved in 2 Parade of Homes, plus we ran our own show down in RoundTop/Warrenton for awhile. In the meantime, we started doing shows in my house. It was set up like a home, but almost everything but our dishes and bed were for sale. My husband was a great sport even though he never knew if we’d have a light in the dining room or a table to eat breakfast at, or even a place to hang his towel.

One show a woman came that owned a restaurant and was amazed at the way the food was styled, etc. We ended up doing work for her, styling in her home and restaurant. One day she called and said she found this great place on the square in McKinney. She would only open up this event/design venue if we would do it with her and would do all the design work. And that was the beginning of Gather and Unique Unique Design in McKinney. After about 1 year she decided to get out of it and Crystal and Jennifer took Gather over. They have been a delight to work with ever since. Traci joined me 6 months after we opened and just jumped right into all the craziness. Traci and I are changing directions a bit focusing on prop rental (with some unusual pieces), more outside event/photo styling, and window/store styling. Lots to look forward to!

Heirloom: Where do you turn for inspiration? 

Marcie: The obvious answer is the Lord, the Greatest Creator and Stylist ever and all the beauty we see around us daily. I can be inspired by so many things I see whether an ad in a magazine, seeing something someone else has done and just taking it a totally different direction, some common everyday thing that can be used for something totally different, an airplane sitting in hangar, an old breadboard, a bucket of worn springs. I constantly am looking at what is around me and my mind is always churning wondering how I can use it for something. I certainly like the unique!

Heirloom: What is the one thing about Unique Unique that excites you most? 

Marcie: This ties in with the above question, but I love the creative process and planning and seeing it come together. Right now though, I am so excited to see how Traci has hitched herself to this wagon and has just totally immersed herself in Unique Unique. She’s giving 110% to this new direction we are taking and that’s very exciting and inspiring! Love you, Traci! Fun things ahead!

Heirloom: Tell us the story of your biggest challenge and how you managed to overcome it. 

Marcie: Without a doubt, one of the biggest challenges I have had to overcome, and still have to remind myself, is confidence in my abilities. I know any abilities I have are God given, but haven’t always put my faith there. My husband, family, and friends around me have always been there to boost my confidence, but one of things that has really helped me believe that I do have some talent is the reactions to things that I’ve done since doing this is such a public arena. I love doing what I do, enjoy the creative process so much, and am very thankful for everyone I’ve been involved with in this process, whether friends, family, business folks I’ve had the pleasure of working with, for their support and encouragement. I am much more confident of my abilities than when I got in this business so many years ago.


Heirloom: What do you most enjoy doing when you are not styling and creating? 

Marcie: And this I am very confident of, I love being around my family…all of them. I will have to say, though, there is nothing like grandkids. I’m pretty sure my husband and I have the greatest ones ever!

Karis Crawford

An open landscape filled with rolling hills, tall trees casting shade for young love to gather beneath, the gathering to rejoice & celebrate deep meaningful friendships. All infused with beauty, excitement, and an awe struck wonder that takes our breath away. Such is often the canvas artists paint upon. To capture that tear in your eye as you pause in reflection or the fountain that seems to pour when laughter rolls. With this gift comes the immense power to stop time and live in a moment for all time. 

Karis Crawford, of the Daily Romantics, helps brides bring their vision to life. Recently, Karis shared part of her journey with us, the ups, the downs and everything in-between. We hope you enjoy!   


Heirloom: Do you have any morning routines? If so, would you mind sharing what they are and how they set you up for success? 

Karis: I do! My office hours are a bit different, they start at 10am and run to 7pm. 7pm because most of my brides work full time and do a ton of their wedding planning after work in the evenings, so I love to be available for them in the evening hours. Since, my mornings are free before 10, I use that time to get prepped for the day ahead, eat breakfast without distractions, and spend time with my husband before he leaves for work. Dedicating my mornings to quiet time to just wake up and greet the day helps me start on the right foot and stay focused.

Heirloom: Tell us about your journey. What led you to discover a love for event planning and styling?

Karis: I've always loved planning things - events, parties, vacations, you name it! I'm organized by nature and love lists, details, and celebrations. When I was younger, I was sure I wanted to plan events when I grew up, but college led me into something more corporate. After a few years in the corporate world, I was left with a huge desire for more freedom and creativity. So when my husband and I got the amazing opportunity to move to Austin from Oklahoma last year and I took the leap and finally started my own business. It's been an incredible and hugely rewarding journey and I can't wait to continue to build relationships an plan weddings for years to come.

Heirloom: Where do you turn for inspiration when planning and styling a new event? What does you process look like? 

Karis: For shoots and events, my inspiration comes from a lot of different places. Sometimes it's a dress, sometimes handmade ribbon, or sometimes from a stunning location. For weddings, my inspirations comes completely from my couples. Their passions, values, and style inspires the entire design. It's always my goal to make sure their wedding day not only looks like them, but feels like who they are as a couple. 

Heirloom: Tell us the story of your biggest challenge and how you managed to overcome it.

Karis: I think one of the biggest challenges for me and probably a lot of small business owners is just balancing work life and home life. I work from home and there are always a million things that can be a distractions. There is always going to be laundry to do and the dog will always want to play fetch inside of napping under your desk quietly as you work. My business is built on a service and provides a relationship and I love investing into the relationships I have with my brides. So, that means always being "on call". I'm not sure if there's a perfect method for balancing work and home, but setting boundaries and valuing your time outside of office hours definitely helps. I think it's really important to give yourself grace when it comes to trying to find that balance.

Heirloom: What has been the most shaping and helpful piece of advice you have received?

Karis: There's a quote I heard once: "If it's both terrifying and amazing then you should definitely pursue it". I just love that. It can be so scary to take a leap and start a new business, a new project, launch a new product, open an Etsy shop, reach out to someone new to collaborate, etc. but most of the things worthwhile are usually scary in the beginning. I think it's so worth it to find out what could be - what you are capable of doing, making, and becoming. 

Heirloom: What do you most enjoy when your not styling and planning beautiful events?
Karis: I love simple things, like spending time with family and friends, going to the farmer's market or to hear live music, playing with our pup, and trying new restaurants. My absolutely favorite thing is traveling. I can't get enough!